Getting a boiler service involves a complete evaluation of your boiler system, consisting of various examinations, tests, and maintenance procedures aimed at ensuring its efficient and safe operation. As a homeowner or landlord, scheduling regular boiler services is crucial, and this guide aims to provide you with all the necessary information you need to know.
What’s included in a Boiler Service?
An annual boiler service involves a comprehensive inspection and cleaning of your boiler by a qualified engineer. The engineer will conduct various tests and checks to ensure that the boiler is operating safely and efficiently. After the service, you'll receive a report detailing any necessary repairs or faults.
Here's an overview of what to expect during the boiler service tests and checks:
The first step of the boiler service is a visual inspection, where the engineer will look for any visible faults or issues that could affect the proper functioning of the boiler. The following are some examples of things the engineer may check:
- Visually inspect the boiler for external and internal damage, including the electrical components.
- Look for evidence of poor-quality installation.
- Check for combustible materials close to the boiler that could pose a hazard.
- Assess the accessibility of the boiler for repair and service.
- Look for signs of overheating or stress.
- Examine the boiler controls to ensure they are fit for purpose.
Tests to check boiler efficiency
As part of the service, the engineer will switch on your boiler and monitor its operation to identify any faults. They will then remove the casing to inspect individual components, including the burner, heat exchanger, and spark sensor probe.
The engineer will also check the gas rate, using the manufacturer's instructions as a reference to determine if it's correct. If the rate is incorrect, the engineer will investigate the cause of the issue. The efficiency checks for your boiler will conclude with a flue gas analysis and a boiler tightness test.
Boiler and Ventilation Gas Safety Checks
Safety is a top priority during a boiler service. The engineer will test your boiler thoroughly to make sure it's working safely. They'll check the boiler's stability, combustion, and case seal, and inspect the components for any safety risks. If your boiler is old, the engineer may need to dismantle the burner, fan, and heat exchanger for a closer safety inspection, but modern boilers usually don't need this unless there is a significant issue found during the flue gas analysis.
The engineer will also inspect the ventilation system, including air vents, flues, and chimneys. They'll carry out a flue flow tightness test and a spillage test to ensure that no combustible materials will leak from your boiler.
System pressure checks
During a boiler service, the engineer will check the working pressure of your boiler and heating system. The working pressure is essential for efficient functioning, and it must be correct for each component.
The engineer will test the heating system's pressure at three different points - the boiler, the inlet burner, and the gas meter. Furthermore, If the pressure is not correct, the service will identify the problem and potentially fix it to ensure your home has the right pressure for optimal performance.
Who should service your boiler?
Only Gas Safe engineers, authorized by the Gas Safe Registry, should service gas boilers. Contact an OFTEC-registered engineer for oil boilers, and a HETAS-registered engineer for coal, wood-fired, or solid-fuel-burning boilers.
To get your boiler serviced, you should book an appointment in advance. It's best to book a service during summer when engineers are less busy. You're more likely to find availability in the warmer months, and some companies even offer discounts for summer bookings.
The boiler service typically takes less than an hour. It's essential to ensure that the engineer can access your boiler and that there's no clutter in the way as any obstruction could delay the servicing.
How much does a boiler service cost?
A complete boiler service usually costs between £85 and £100, but the price may vary depending on the service provider and the condition of your boiler. The service for an older boiler is typically more expensive due to the difficulty in sourcing replacement parts. Oil boiler services are also slightly more costly. It's a good idea to get multiple quotes and compare prices to find the best deal.
Bear in mind that the initial cost of the boiler service may not include any necessary repairs or fixes. If the engineer discovers a problem, you may be charged extra. However, if you have a comprehensive boiler cover plan, it may include servicing as part of the package and help you avoid any additional expenses.
5 Reasons to Book An Annual Boiler Service
If you're not a landlord, you may question the necessity of a boiler service. Since Homeowners must understand why an annual boiler service is highly recommended.
Keep reading to find out the reasons why you should schedule your service as soon as possible.
Carbon monoxide prevention
A faulty boiler can be dangerous because it increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Faulty central heating boilers caused over a quarter (26%) of unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning deaths in the UK between 1995 and 2019. Thanks to the Gas Safety Record, the number of incidents has decreased, but the risk still exists. To reduce the risk of carbon monoxide-related incidents, regular boiler servicing is recommended. Installing a carbon monoxide alarm is also advisable as it can detect gas leaks.
Besides carbon monoxide, a malfunctioning boiler can also cause other safety hazards such as combustible product leaks. Regularly servicing your boiler can help prevent these dangerous leaks, which keeps you safe and saves you money on costly repairs or replacements.
Identification of potential faults
An annual boiler service can find any areas in your system that need fixing. Fixing them in advance helps avoid unexpected and inconvenient breakdowns. It's best to schedule the service during the warmer months so that there's enough time to fix any issues before winter. Since this keeps you ready and avoids disruptions to your household.
Efficiency – extended lifespan and reduced bills
When a boiler engineer services your boiler, they will check its efficiency to make sure it works as the manufacturer intended. They can also make necessary changes to improve the energy efficiency of the boiler, which can lead to savings on fuel bills and prolong the boiler's lifespan. Regular boiler servicing can help your boiler work more efficiently, which can potentially save you money.
Manufacturer warranty validation
To keep your boiler warranty valid, many manufacturers require you to conduct an annual service according to their specific standards. This means that if you have a Worcester boiler, the engineer must perform a Worcester boiler service that follows the manufacturer's guidelines. To ensure compliance with the manufacturer's requirements, the engineer may need to refer to the boiler's operating manual, which is usually available online if a physical copy is not present.
Get an annual boiler service with PlusHeat
If you're looking for comprehensive boiler and home cover, PlusHeat has got you covered. Our cover plans come with an annual boiler service to keep your boiler running smoothly, as well as covering the cost of repairs should any issues arise.
We also cover other components of your heating system such as thermostats, programmers, valves, and pumps. With our 24/7 helpline and national coverage, our team of experts is always available to help. Protect your home with PlusHeat's boiler and home cover today.
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